The Doctor

I quit listening to all radio save classical when I quit the coffee. Can you tell I am trying to create ambience?
I realized this week that nearly all my life is ¨make-do¨. Rarely do I get something that I think fits me specifically. I buy pants too long at the thrift store and cut off the bottoms so that they fit. I get my furniture at the same store with patches of bare wood showing through the paint. I have broken stuff in my kitchen and I do not pester the management about it. I get rid of my bed frame and then never buy another, because I know if I wait long enough, one will find me. Seriously, everything in my life is stuff that I happened upon and took the opportunity to obtain, only my television is a purposeful purchase, and I bought that for price, not for how it fit my lifestyle or furniture.
So, I am trying now to, instead of working with what I have, buying what works for me specifically. For instance, I am not out of lotion, but I purchased lavender lotion this week because lavender is proven to be calming. The kids need that. I need that. We need calm. We need a purposeful life. I need to craft life, not treat it like catching a wave.
I need to feel that I deserve better. That I deserve the effort and expense. I bought myself a pair of glasses, but not a backup pair. Why did I do that? I ought to put in the time to get the back up pair, and to make them different from my new pair, why don’t I? Zenni Optical makes it affordable, I haven’t got an excuse about cost.
I was so sick this week, it made each day a struggle. I should have asked a friend for help. I should have got a sitter, I should have taken the day off of work, I should, basically, take care of myself. Never mind a creative life. I should create my own life, not a make-do of other people’s castoffs that don’t quite fit me.

So then I went to the doctor yesterday. I had a fever that day, too, and did not even realize. He saw me a few months after I got into town originally. He is very pleased with my progress. I am glad he told me more than once. Sometimes a pat on the back makes all the difference in the world.

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Who Will Take Care of The Kids?

Being sick when you have children and are alone is no joke. You really cannot afford to be ill. It scares the pants off of me, frankly. You fall asleep from fever, who is watching the children? You cannot walk from pain, who is watching the children? You cannot cook from fatigue, who is feeding the children?
I walk anyway, I force myself to stay awake, I instruct the children how to make sandwiches.
Yesterday I had to leave work (not a good idea, to forego the sole source of income) to go home and sleep, or I would be a hazard on the roads picking up the children later. I crawled into bed and woke up with the phone ringing, a dear friend asking me if I were to pick up the children? And I got up and did it, fever and all, luckily with time to spare.
I have a friend, a few babysitters, who would watch them for me, now. When I go out and leave the children at daycare or with the sitter, I know I can come back to kids without bruises. It’s like magic.
Once I stayed up for two days straight, while my children had a bad influenza, doing load after load of laundry and keeping the poor things hydrated in between bouts of vomiting. I had it, too.
The very best strategy for single moms when they are sick with anything intestinal or vomit inducing, is to not eat at all. Every time I get something like that, I take no food or drink for twenty four hours, so that I can take care of my kids. Taking in food when you have those viruses creates a vomit/diarrhea cycle that takes more than a day to get out of.
Every time I have to see the doctor, I tell him I haven’t got time to be sick. Like anyone does, right? But I sometimes get panicky over it. Having sitters or friends is all new to me. I never thought to call my friend yesterday. I am accustomed to doing it myself.
Who helps you, when you are sick?

Two Days Sans Crutch

I think quitting coffee might be the best and easiest thing to help my PTSD.

I have relaxed the hypervigilance since quitting, and I feel less anxious. I have more focus, less memory lapses, and more patience. I never get everything done that I want to do, but I did get just as much done, if not more, than usual. So the only downside is the headache, along with that heavy dull feeling in my head in the morning. This will go away by the end of the week, if previous experience holds true. I quit caffeine with each pregnancy, and I recall it being a week.

The appointment for my yearly physical is at the end of this week. I was planning to ask him for something for anxiety to nip this stress chemical thing in the bud, but I really hate meds. I will not have to ask him, if this week ends up being like today and yesterday.

What is funny is that I used the coffee in the shelter as a sort of soother, a comfort food. Put the kids in the little daycare, and then go and get a cup of coffee and have a cigarette on the patio. If I were lucky some of the other girls would be out there.

I quit the cigarettes when I left the shelter. Like a soldier who only smokes in the field, or a prisoner who only smokes in the pen. I get it, now.

But the coffee is a piece of who I am. I started drinking it at age eleven, because I wanted to be grown up. Now everyone in the generations after mine drinks energy drinks. The coffeepot at work is never used by anyone younger than myself. I like the habit, I like having a taste for it when it seems to be going out of fashion.

I bought decaf in case I couldn’t handle it, but I haven’t used it. I put the regular coffee in the freezer, for guests. Tomorrow I mean to give away my milk frother thing, I never did use it, my taste is too simple and my patience too short.

It is funny that something I used for comforting myself was something hurting me. Funny how often that turns out to be true.

Fifteen minutes after writing this I realized I forgot to eat dinner. Maybe the memory is not so improved…

A List of Things That Make Me Fear Retaliation

Kids Laughing
Kids Crying
Kids Falling Down
Walking Where Men Are
Talking Where Men Are Present
Driving Where I Want To Go
Being Out After Dark
Talking To Men
Tying My Shoe In Public
Bending Down In Public
Shopping For Underclothes or Socks
Wearing Tight Clothing
Laughing In Public
Eating In Public Without A Fork
Blowing Bubbles With Chewing Gum In The Car
Speaking Non English Words In Public
Shopping For Fenugreek
Going Into Tobacco or Liquor Stores
Hugging the Kids In Public
Kissing the Children In Public
Asking for Repairs To Be Done On My Apartment
Going to Auto Part Stores
Going to Radio Shack
Going to Hardware Stores
Eating at Ethnic Restaurants
Commenting On International Politics
Yelling to Children In Public
Showing My Upper Arms in Public
My Daughter Wearing Shorts
My Daughter Wearing Leggings
My Daughter Wearing Bathing Suits
Swimming In Public
The Children Dancing In Public
Working

This is a long list of things I get stressed out over. This is nuts. I don’t have any reason to be afraid anymore. I have to do something about this.

Losing My Wingman

I have explained how PTSD affects the brain in an earlier post in my best layman’s terms. Hopefully it was still decipherable after I tried to wrap my head around it.

The part that is easiest to understand is what I take the beta blocker for, to avoid increasing my heart rate, and thus never experience the chemical dump that occurs when fight or flight is triggered. Taking this Propanolol has had a huge impact on the quality of my life, and my sleep, which again improves quality of life.
But I still am not quite where I was before living in a traumatizing environment for those years.

Sometimes I feel it, when I am successfully refereeing the kids and doing something else at the same time, that I am myself, effortless, relaxed, not anxious. It is too rare.

So, though I happened across the advice a long time ago regarding PTSD and reducing symptoms, I am finally ready to listen.

I have to kick the coffee. It’s like slaying a part of my identity. Ripping off a piece of my soul. Burning into ashes what might be left of the poetry I wrote in my youth in smoky coffeehouses. Enough drama.

I cannot decide if I should cold turkey or taper down. I think the indecision is a delay tactic. Sneaky little addicted brain.

My dearest friend, in all flavors and guises. I hope not to miss you. I hope our parting brings new calm.

Not a Great Day

Today my love interest confirmed that his interest and his love had waned to nothing. Not the best day I have ever had. But the kids and I did play at the park, and they have played well together.
Coming up the stairs my neighbor (who currently has a back injury) said she was afraid of my boys. I was afraid of them, too, years ago. But now they are so much improved.
But still it smarted. These poor kids hold the door open for everyone multiple times a day, they work hard at their therapies, play well with babies, and still adults are afraid of them?
I hope she did not mean it as it sounded, I hope it was just about her balance issues and the pain of injury. It’s just the wrong day for me to hear anything negative, I guess.
I hope teaching Monopoly cheers me up. Maybe I will throw in some pies for self therapy.